Government commits to introduce mandatory five yearly electrical safety checks
After a long wait, the Government has finally released the results of a consultation on Electrical Safety Standards in the private rented sector. Despite this, there has yet to be a date outlined for the implementation of mandatory five-year checks, with the consultation response outlining that ‘they will be introduced as soon as parliamentary time allows’.
The NLA has long pressed the Government for clarification on this and will continue to pressure the Government for a clear timeline of implementation. Landlords have been repeatedly let down by MHCLG’s lack of clarity and timeframe on upcoming legislation, which has had a significant impact on their business planning.
However, we are pleased that the Government has accepted our guidance on the need to phase in the legislative requirement to have checks.
The Government has also decided to place a legal requirement on landlords to ensure that the inspectors and testers they hire to carry out mandatory electrical safety inspections in their properties are competent to do so. As a result, new guidance will be developed that will set out the minimum requirements to accept as proof that inspectors and testers have the necessary skills and level of competence.
If an inspector and tester is not a member of a competent person scheme, the landlord can ask them to sign a checklist certifying their competence.
Landlords who do not comply or are found to be in breach of the new rules can receive fines of up to £30,000 and banning orders for repeated or serious offences.
Speaking on the announcement, Housing Minister Heather Wheeler said:
“Everyone has the right to feel safe and secure in their own home. While measures are already in place to crack down on the small minority of landlords who rent out unsafe properties, we need to do more to protect tenants.
“These new measures will reduce the risk of faulty electrical equipment, giving people peace of mind and helping to keep them safe in their homes.
“It will also provide clear guidance to landlords on who they should be hiring to carry out these important electrical safety checks”.
Despite the Government’s consistent lack of clarity, the NLA recognises the need for electrical safety checks in the private rented sector to give confidence to tenants in the safety of their homes. Having worked closely with the Government on this issue and being instrumental in forming official guidance and best practice, we fully support the measures outlined in the response.
What you can do:
As part of our training we already encourage members to undertake 5 yearly checks as well as visual inspections between tenancies to ensure the quality of their property, where landlords can avoid potentially dangerous or costly problems.